Wisconsin Badgers vs. Baylor Bears - 3/27/14 West Region
Baylor Bears (26-11) at Wisconsin Badgers (28-7)
College Basketball: Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 7:47 pm (Honda Center)
The Line: Wisconsin Badgers -2.5 -- Over/Under: 137.5 See the Latest Odds
The Baylor Bears and Wisconsin Badgers will duke it out on Thursday in the NCAA tournament.
Baylor is a team that’s peaking at the right time, winning eight of its last nine games, including knocking off Nebraska and Creighton in the tournament. On the season, Baylor averages 74.1 points on 45.2 percent shooting and allows 67.8 points on 42.6 percent shooting. Offensively, Baylor is led by forward Corey Jefferson, who averages 13.6 points on 50.1 percent shooting. However, the Bears zone defense is what’s made the difference, as Baylor has held four of its last six opponents under 70 points. What’s really impressive is that Baylor held an explosive Creighton team to just 55 points on 40 percent shooting. The Baylor Bears are 15-13-2 ATS overall.
Wisconsin has beaten American University and Oregon to get to this point and made a double-digit halftime comeback to knock off the Ducks. On the season, the Badgers average 73.9 points on 46 percent shooting and allow 64.1 points on 43.1 percent shooting. Wisconsin still plays that elite defense that you expect from Badger teams, but the offensive paced has really picked up, as the Badgers shoot 37.6 percent from downtown and have four players averaging at least 10.8 points per game. Forward Frank Kaminsky leads Wisconsin with 13.6 points per game. The Wisconsin Badgers are 19-16 ATS overall.
The Bears are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games. The Badgers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 NCAA Tournament games.
The Badgers are lot like Creighton in that they shoot a ton of threes. That didn’t work out so well against Baylor’s defense. I really like the way Baylor has been playing lately and don’t believe the run stops now.
The Bears’ defense is the real deal and should be able to limit Wisconsin’s big scoring stretches.
I’ll take Baylor and the points, but I think the Bears win this game SU.